The international convention centre for Auckland is desperately needed and long overdue, says Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ).
The business tourism advocacy group is welcoming news the government has signed a Heads of Agreement with SkyCity to build a new international convention centre in Auckland.
“This is great news for Auckland and for the country as a whole,” says CINZ chief executive Alan Trotter. “An international convention centre is something we’ve sorely needed for many years and it is fantastic that finally we’re making headway. What we need to do now is keep the foot on the accelerator and get this facility built as soon as possible.”
It is estimated an international convention centre will boost New Zealand’s economy by more than $100 million a year.
“An international convention centre will have a positive economic impact that extends far beyond the boundaries of Auckland City. Many of the delegates who will attend conferences and conventions at the international convention centre will also take the opportunity to travel to other parts of New Zealand so the spin-offs will be felt across the country,” says Mr Trotter.
“Convention delegates spend more than other international visitors to New Zealand, typically around $400 a day, which is about twice as much as leisure visitors. They also come at a time of year when tourism tends to be quiet so they are very important to our industry.”
Mr Trotter says the convention delegates are also valuable to New Zealand because of the knowledge and expertise they bring to the country.
“The types of international conferences we will be able to host in the new convention centre tend to attract the best and the brightest in their fields. Those people will bring a wealth of knowledge with them, which we will be able to tap into. You can’t put a dollar value on that but it’s something that will bring us benefits in the long-term.
“I really applaud the government for their innovative and pragmatic approach to the challenge of building an international convention centre in these tough economic times. It’s going to be great for our country and for our economy so the fact they have managed to do it without imposing any extra costs on either Auckland ratepayers or the New Zealand tax-payer is truly laudable,” Mr Trotter says.